10 June 2021, Krakow, Poland –   A recently concluded research on Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) identifies NaaS as a major driver for operator 5G monetization, with close to 95% of global operators expecting it to significantly enhance operator revenue opportunities. The report identifies IoT verticals, powered by 5G’s massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) as one of the biggest markets for NaaS, followed by monetization from partnerships on new, innovative NaaS-based services.

The report ‘AI/ML for 5G Network Slicing: Accelerating NaaS Strategy’ which is produced jointly by Comarch and The Fast Mode, assesses in-depth, operator readiness to deliver NaaS, specifically their ability to dynamically provision network slices according to vertical and customer needs. The findings from the report are based on the analysis of responses from 100 global operator respondents who participated in a survey earlier this year.

NaaS is an operator service that builds on 5G network slicing, a technology that abstracts the networks’ physical resources to create network instances that can be sold as ‘slices’. The implementation of NaaS enables operators to grant slice customers a high degree of control over their slices, enabling a highly-differentiated, application-driven, flexible 5G service.

Findings from the report indicate an increasing reliance on artificial intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) for automation of network management and monitoring, across 5G networks. “Central to NaaS is network slicing automation. The need for dynamic, real-time provisioning of virtual networks, without any human intervention, will see the rise of AI/ML in 5G network management,’ said Marcin Nowak, Senior Solutions Manager at Comarch. “Coordination between domains – RAN, transport and core – for example, requires end-to-end orchestration, and we expect more operators to start adopting AI/ML for dynamic, real-time management of network resources, on a network-wide basis.”

The report which analyses the challenges faced by operators in network slicing automation, also assesses the IT capabilities required within today’s operators to support NaaS. "We note strong readiness among global operators in terms of virtualization of 5G infrastructure and the deployment of edge computing, being two key capabilities needed for NaaS,” said Ariana Leena Lavanya, Analyst at The Fast Mode. “More than 90% of operators will have virtualized their infrastructure in the next five years. For edge computing, we note an even higher figure.”    

Apart from highlighting regional trends and the influence of operator size on NaaS implementation, the report also looks at NaaS solution models and the role of zero-touch, automation-driven technologies in driving its deployment.

The ‘AI/ML for 5G Network Slicing: Accelerating NaaS Strategy’ report is now available for download here.


About The Fast Mode

The Fast Mode is a leading independent research and media brand, providing breaking news, analysis and insights for the global IT/telecommunications sector. Founded in 2013, The Fast Mode has grown to a world class brand with a global reach spanning millions of readers annually and is currently one of the top five global digital publications in the industry.

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